If you’re a parent like me, and are a video game loving family like mine, Your probably mulling up whether to get Nintendos latest console the Wii-U for Christmas.
I decided to write-up this post all about the Wii-U, what the console does differently to the Wii, and what games we can expect, and the best package deals available at launch, to help us all decide whether to go ahead and pre-order ready for delivery on 30th November.
What is the Wii-U
The Wii-U is Nintendo’s latest home console video game system, and the follow-up to the unbelievably successful Wii.
One of the biggest criticisms of the Wii was its graphical capabilities. To be honest, it’s never looked the best, but it never’s really bothered us before. Most of the time it’s only used by the kids playing Super Smash Bros brawl or Super Mario Bros Wii, so it’s not a problem.
It was only when we started playing Legend Of Zelda:Skyward Sword that we realised how much better this already beautiful game would look on a more powerful console. It does look amazing in places, but in others it’s just not good enough.
The Wii-U is going to change all that, finally Full HD graphics! That’s not the best bit however, the biggest difference is arguably going to be the GamePad.
The Wii-U GamePad is a brand new controller that is going to act as your controller, TV screen, remote control, video chat camera, all in one.
The GamePad is a tablet style controller. It has all the normal control sticks and buttons, but also contains a 6.2 inch touchscreen.
Use the touchscreen either with the stylus or simply your finger, the GamePad will be getting a lot of use, even when you’re not playing an actual game.
Nintendo’s new Miiverse a type of family friendly social network will use the GamePad’s screen capabilities. So you can chat to friends (either video or text), send and receive messages, receive updates, all through the GamePad screen. Negating having to load up the Wii-U and hog the TV screen.
With some games you will also be able to play with your family all around the TV, then if dad wants to switch over and watch the TV he can go ahead. You can continue playing your game on the GamePad – How cool is that! This feature definitely sold my son on the Wii-U, he thinks that is amazing.
The GamePad also has NFC technology. Which means it can recognise objects also with NFC. Like the way the Skylanders portal can recognise which Skylander your using. Raising the possibility that in future you will be using your GamePad in the same way, with Mario figurines or trading cards.
In the US you will also be able to watch tv content through your Wii-U, using your GamePad as a remote control. Although this wont be available in the UK at launch, it’s predicted to come to us eventually.
Basic or Premium Pack?
First main difference between the two packs – All the Basic models are white and the premium ones are Black. I’m not sure why, but I suppose it makes it easier to differentiate between the packages quickly.
A few years ago I would probably have been more annoyed as I would have wanted the Premium pack in White. However now I have a black XBox 360 and the PS3 is black, it’s not an issue for me as I would want a black one to complement the others in the AV cabinet.
Enough about the colour, down to the nitty-gritty of what you get for your money.
The basic pack contains:
- white Wii-U console with 8GB of memory
- One White Gamepad (the one with the screen)
- AC adapters for the Console and Gamepad
- HDMI cable
- Doesn’t include the Sensor Bar which you will need (If you have a Wii already you are OK)
- Doesn’t come with Cradle or stand
- Doesn’t come with any game
The Premium Pack Contains:
- Black Wii-U Console with 32GB of memory
- One Black Gamepad (the one with the screen)
- AC adapters for the Console and Gamepad
- HDMI cable
- Sensor Bar
- Wii -U Gamepad Cradle (For charging) and Gamepad Stand
- Copy Of Nintendo Land Game
In my opinion the additional memory, plus the included game make it a simple choice. The premium bundle is definitely better value. Nintendo Land might not be the number one game your after, but it’s much more than a simple throwaway bundle title. Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, Animal Crossing, and Donkey Kong’s crash course – These all look like great little games.
Pre-order the Wii-U now for delivery 30th November
The Best Package deals available:
Games available at Launch
Probably the majority of Toybuzz readers will be looking for the more family friendly games. So the games to lookout for at launch are:
New Super Mario Bros U – Loved Super Mario Bros Wii – More of the same Please! New gameplay via the GamePad looks so much fun
Nintendo Land – Collection of mini games all featuring famous Nintendo characters and games. Mix of multi and single player.
Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed – Family friendly racing fun – Think Mario Kart but with Sonic
Ben 10 Omniverse – Game based on the brand new soon to be released Cartoon Series – My kids love all the Ben 10 games, so this will be a must for us
Rise of the Guardians – Game based on the new Dreamworks film – Play as either Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Sandman or Jack Frost.
For older gamers (much older gamers) Nintendo have finally realised that you may want to play on their console too, so now have you covered in the FPS department. Nintendo haven’t specified firm release dates for most of these games, but they are thought to be being released around launch or just after.
Assassins Creed 3 – The game fans of the series have been waiting for
Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition – The amazing Arkham City but with special GamePad features. Gamepad screen acts as a Batcomputer throughout the game
Call of Duty : Black Ops 2 – Do I need to explain?
Darksiders 2 –
Madden NFL 13 – Selecting teams and working out your plays will be amazing on the touchscreen Gamepad
Mass Effect 3 Special Edition
ZombiU – Poster boy for the GamePad, makes use of all of the touchscreen and accelerometer tricks. Looks scary, but I really can’t wait for this one
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013
Games to look forward to in hopefully late 2012 /early 2013 are:
Lego City Undercover – Looks like Grand Theft Auto for Kids. Another must buy for the children
Rayman Legends – The family and I have had so much fun playing Rayman Origins on the Xbox 360 – I can’t wait to try out the new Rayman on the Wii-U
Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth
Just Dance 4
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge
Transformer Prime – Again more for the teens, 10+
I think you’ll agree that’s quite an impressive rosta of games currently on the table, and the list is set to grow and grow. It’s almost certainly a much stronger lineup than that of the Wii, especially with regards to so-called hardcore gamers.
There is a much higher amount of more mature content games, for dad and mum to play once the younglings have gone to bed. Which can only be a good thing.
I’m never going to be one for a game of Call of Duty, I’d rather play Skylanders. However dad would appreciate it and Zombie-U, and if it means that we all get more use out of the Wii-U then that’s brilliant.
So after all that what do you think? Will you and your family be getting a Wii-U this year?